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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Most Important Meal of the Day Is Going Away

Old-fashioned oats with chai, ground flaxseed, 
acacia honey and fresh blueberries

Don’t get me wrong. I have never been a huge Fruit Loops kind of person. In fact, growing up, my parents were much more likely to serve oatmeal or shredded wheat than Lucky Charms or Captain Crunch. Actually, the impending cereal extinction (if it happens) rests partly on my shoulders since our household often only has one box of cereal in the cupboard most of the time. And that one box is more likely to need carbon dating than milk or sugar.

When I first read the story, I thought, well of course. Ever since this hate-on started for carbs and wheat and corn and gluten and sugar and preservatives, there have been plenty of breakfast foods that have moved from the healthy category to the “eat this only if you want to die” category.

I hope that one day soon wheat toast with butter and jam, two sunny-side eggs and a glass of cold milk will be considered a nutritious breakfast again, but that is not my biggest worry.

Homemade yogurt with mandarin oranges,
granola and a drizzle of honey


The part of the article that struck me most is the fact that less than half of Americans eat breakfast at all. The article states: “And people just don’t have time to sit down for a bowl of cereal anymore.”

We don’t have time to eat a bowl of cereal? Seriously? I get that we may not have time to cook up a pot of slow-cooked oats, but pouring cold cereal from a box into a bowl is now too time-consuming?

And that isn’t the only thing I have heard a lot lately. Coffee-only breakfasters are finding that brewing up coffee in a pot is now a time waster. Instead, more and more folks are willing to pay top dollar for Keurigs and other single-K cup machines to shave a few minutes off the morning routine. Because we don’t even have time to drink “breakfast” in the morning apparently.

We invent more and more gismos and shortcuts designed to save time, and yet our free time continues to dwindle down to nothing. Even breakfast isn’t sacred any more, despite scientific reasons why eating this meal is so important.

I am a big proponent of breakfast. I will eat breakfast for dinner or late on a Sunday afternoon (yes, I know technically that is brunch but really it is breakfast for lazy people like me). But I especially miss having breakfast for breakfast. Some of my favorite memories are eating breakfast with my grandfather as a child. He would cook up cinnamon oatmeal with raisins, waffles and pancakes, or scrambled eggs with cheese and crumbled bacon, and often he made up fresh loaves of bread served hot with butter and homemade preserves or honey. Now THAT is breakfast.


Ham, egg and cheese breakfast casserole and hash brown casserole


But even in the rush of school year breakfast, it was still a moment for my family to sit around the table, exchange pleasantries and talk about plans for the day before the rush of commutes and classes and meetings began. I remember actually having time to eat my breakfast, not just shoveling food in as fast as possible while I ran out the door.


To me, the ritual of breakfast matters more than the “what we eat” of breakfast. Eat a protein bar and a yogurt if you want, but do it at your own breakfast table. Take 15 minutes and actually taste your food, have a conversation or read the news, and take a deep breath before diving into the day. After all, it is still the most important meal of the day … and it deserves to stay that way.

PLEASE NOTE: All breakfasts pictured here actually created and consumed by blogger.


Dollar waffles

2 comments:

Pauline B Jones said...

I'm like you. I love breakfast morning noon or night. (Had Shredded Wheat for supper last night, actually.) I guess I'm lucky that my days have slowed enough that I can take the time to wake up before enjoying my breakfast.

I'm still in shock that people don't have time for a bowl of cereal. Wow.

Accidental Foodie said...

I know, right? If you don't have time for cereal, you have big problems. :)